Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Holiday Affair (1949)

            Hope you are all having (or had) a wonderful Christmas Eve with your families. For the past few Christmases it has just me, my parents, my three brothers, and my grandparents instead of several extended family members. I come from a pretty big Italian family but unfortunately several of them have moved far away and my ninety-seven year old great-grandmother does not like to travel anymore so no more big Christmas get togethers. I have to say though the smaller crowd has been very nice. Christmas has been more laid back and fun. We play board games and watch movies. The movies are usually not Christmas movies though. My brothers are obsessed with superhero movies and my grandparents like action movies.
            Instead of sitting through a non-Christmas, I have taken it upon myself to watch one. I have chosen to watch Holiday Affair from 1949.
            Steve Mason (Robert Mitchum) is a salesman in a department store. He has been given the task of selling a toy train set during the holidays. A large group of children have gathered around the display to hear him talk about the latest model train. A young woman named Connie Ennis (Janet Leigh) breaks through the crowd of children demanding to be waited on. She is in a hurry and pressures Steve to write up that she will be buying the train. She has the exact amount of money the train costs including tax. After she buys the train, Connie calls the company she works for. She is a comparison shopper and tells the person on the other end she will bring the train to the office the following day.
            At the end of her hectic day of shopping for other people, Connie returns to her apartment where son Timmy is waiting for her. Connie placed the wrapped box with the train on her bed. Timmy being a curious little boy, takes a peek inside the box when his mother is out of the room. He becomes very excited believing his mother has bought the train for him.
            That night Connie’s boyfriend Carl comes over. He wants to marry her but she feels like she still needs time. Timmy’s father died in the War and she is still not completely over him. Connie tells Carl that when she is ready she will ask him to marry her.
            No longer needing the train, Connie goes back to the department store to return it. Steve tells her he knew she was a comparison shopper and he could get her in a lot of trouble for what she did. He becomes sarcastic with her and asks her what her story is thinking she has made up a fake one. When Steve realizes Connie is telling the truth about her son and her dead husband, he feels bad and lets her return the train. Connie then goes downstairs to buy a pair of men’s undergarments. Steve comes down at that moment and pretends to be her husband. When she asks why he is not upstairs working, he responds that he has gotten fired because of her. To make up for what has happened Connie agrees to take him to lunch where he likes to go. Where Steve likes to eat for lunch is a few vendors near the Central Park Zoo. They have a nice lunch and walk around the park. Steve asks Connie how she has gotten him to talk so much.
After their lunch and walk Steve helps Connie carry some packages from another department store where she has to buy things for her job. The crowd becomes too much and they get separated. He manages to find out where Connie lives and brings her packages over. Carl is also there and the atmosphere becomes a little tense between the two men. Things also become a little awkward when Timmy gets an attitude about Carl being there. He knows Carl wants to marry his mother and he does not like that because he likes the way their lives are at the moments. And also because he was not getting the train set he wanted. Timmy gets sent to his room after he yells at Carl. Carl gets mad at Connie for yelling at him for the way he spoke to Timmy. Steve goes into Timmy’s room to talk to him and make him feel better. When their talk is through, Steve goes to Connie in the kitchen, kisses her, and leaves.
            The next morning is Christmas. Timmy runs into Connie’s room all exited. She goes into the living room to find the toy train Timmy was upset over. She knows the train is from Steve. She is upset with him for spending the money on it. Connie goes to his hotel that morning and finds Steve has checked out. She figures out he has gone to their place at the zoo. Before heading to the zoo she had stopped home to get a tie she had planned on giving to Carl to give to Steve. When she sees him, Connie asks Steve why he is leaving. He tells her he is saving to get on the cheapest train to California so he can go into the boat making business like he has always wanted to do.
            Connie goes home to Timmy and her in-laws. Carl comes over and just in time. A detective comes to the house saying she needs to come down to police headquarters. Steve has been wrongfully arrested over an incident that occurred at that the Park that morning. The police believe he beat someone up and tied him up with a tie and stole a gift of salt and pepper shakers. That morning in the Park Steve had given a man his old tie when Connie had given him his new one. A few moments after that, a little girl came over to him and gave him the box with the shakers in it. Connie tells the police chief the whole truth and Steve is let go. Timmy was there as well and invites Steve to come over for dinner since he does not know anyone else in the city. Dinner goes well until Steve is asked to give a speech. At the end of his speech he asks Connie to marry him.
            Timmy is sad about Steve leaving the night before. He feels bad that Steve spent money he does not have on the train set. He takes it upon himself to go to the department store to return it. At first Timmy has no luck until he hears two women discussing how someone wanted to return something and they went to see the owner of the store who took the item back. Timmy goes up to the owner’s office with the train and tells the owner the whole story. Connie and Carl had been worried sick over Timmy all day. She looks out the window and sees Timmy has gotten a ride home with the store owner. He tells them that he got the money back to give to Steve. Connie and Carl drive over to where Steve is now living. Carl knows she does not really love him. He knows she loves Steve and tells her so. He waits for her while she goes in to give the money to Steve just in case. Steve lets her know that he loves her but he is not going to ask her to marry him again. He tells her that she is still hung up on her husband and cannot move forward. This makes her a bit angry and she leaves.
            On New Year’s Eve, Connie gets a telegram from Steve that he is leaving for California. Connie is going out for the night with two of her friends. Timmy mentions that when he is older and leaves the house she will be all alone. She thinks of Steve.
            Connie, along with Timmy, manages to make it onto the same train Steve is on.
            The story of Holiday Affair was not very Christmas-y. It is one of those films that is just centered around the holiday. I liked it, I thought it was cute. Janet Leigh was actually really good. I am not a fan of her acting in the few other films I have seen her in but in this film she was adorable and her acting was not bad at all. Robert Mitchum it was weird not seeing him as this really tough guy like he is in most of his film, or at least the ones I have seen him in. He and Leigh, surprisingly, made a good pair. Holiday Affair is a decent film worth seeing at least once. At least I got to sit through something that deals with Christmas! Right now I think everyone in my family is downstairs watching James Bond!
            Have a very Merry Christmas. I hope you all get at least one gift you wanted be it a toy, money, food, or getting to spend time with your family. 

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